30 Time and Money Saving Tips
We've come up with some ways to increase efficiency at the barn. Share your ideas here!
- Buy in bulk. If you’ll use it before it expires, refill bottles are cheaper.
- Arrange routine vet visits with nearby neighbors or fellow boarders to split the field call.
- Use a sheen spray after you bathe your horse to help repel dust and detangle manes and tails, cutting down on future grooming time.
- Keep your tack room neat and tidy so that you don’t waste time searching for tack and supplies.
- Organize! Use separate containers to hold grooming tools, a first-aid kit, wash-rack essentials and so on.
- Edit horse care lotions, potions and meds regularly—toss what’s expired, dried up, gone gunky, leaky or no longer needed.
- Give your tack a once-over with a clean rag after every ride to make deep cleaning before a big event easier.
- Keep up on grooming tasks like pulling manes and clipping so that you don’t have to do an extreme makeover before show day.
- On your day off, prepare a week’s worth of supplement servings to cut down on feed preparation time.
- Buy your hay from a reputable dealer—you’ll get more bang for your buck with high-quality hay, and you won’t waste time haggling over returns.
- Most horses are quite happy to live out in the pasture as much as possible—and that means less stall bedding cost for you.
- If you find someone who can make use of your manure pile, it’s a win-win situation: You get free manure removal, they get compost, and we all save the planet.
- To avoid untangling a snarled mess, rewrap polos or wraps after every use.
- Wash your wraps in a mesh laundry bag, so they don’t get knotted up.
- Recycle your supplement tubs. They make handy buckets or storage containers.
- Convert clutter to cash. Sell tack that you no longer use, blankets that don’t fit, outgrown show clothes, and the like.
- With a little creativity, odds and ends can become jumps, dressage letters, trail obstacles and so on.
- For a intensive training session, have a plan and focus on what you and your horse are doing.
- If you board at a busy facility and can be flexible with your schedule, ride at off-peak hours when arenas are less crowded, turnouts and wash racks are more available.
- Save a shoe that is in fairly good condition after your farrier’s visit. If you lose a shoe at a show, you can have the show farrier tack on your spare.
- Get friends together to have a "barn” sale for apparel, tack and stable equipment that you no longer use or need.
- Don’t throw away old stall mats—if they’re textured you can recycle them to your wash rack area.
- Update your show wardrobe with one key piece, instead of buying a whole new outfit.
- Find a local friend to exchange "farm-sitting” duties with, instead of paying for professional help.
- After your horse’s bath, go over his body with a medium brush. It works to groom him and remove water at the same time.
- An old clipper blade can be recycled to shorten manes effectively.
- Detanglers in manes and tails can also help prevent shavings from embedding.
- Save water—have a spray attachment connected to your wash rack hose.
- Metal closet organizing systems work well in tack rooms, especially for storing wraps, bottles and small items.
- Invest in a multi-use tool and keep it in your grooming box—saves you from having to keep several tools at the barn and is always at the ready.
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This article originally appeared in the August 2006 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe!
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30 Time and Money Saving Tips